And so my cookbook addiction continues! Even when I go into Anthropology amongst other lovely purchases I often end up with another cookbook, sometimes they are ones that I have thought about getting and some that just catch my eye as this one did Nourish Cakes by Marianne Stewart. I so often get asked if I have any good gluten free, vegetarian or healthier cakes that are still delicious, so just like I have been on a bit of a mission with feeding my family the occasional meatfree dinner that they will both enjoy and ask for again I’ve started testing out different cake recipes. I’m slowly building a small repertoire of delicious bakes that will make everyone happy! This banana walnut loaf from this lovely new cookbook seems to be a perfect addition to my ever growing collection. I made it last week for my banana loaf loving family and it went down a treat! It’s both vegan and dairy free, I didn’t tell them that I just made it, sliced it up and served it up, just like I don’t make a big song and dance about my meat free offerings! I of course tell them after they’ve eaten it, I think I get an honest opinion doing it this way!! Without a doubt they would happily have it again.
So a little bit about the recipe, Marianne mentions that you really do need to weigh out the mashed banana, too little or too much will make a big difference to the cake texture so don’t be tempted to throw in that other little overripe banana! It’s very easy to make and it makes a very cute 1lb loaf. She also mentions that if you don’t do much baking this is a great place to start and I think she’s right, it looks lovely once baked and I think delicious too. I think most of us know someone with dietary requirements so this is great to have up your sleeve.
NOTE: you will be turning your oven down before you bake the cake, it’s this sort of thing that can easily be missed when reading a recipe!!! Also don’t know about you but I haven’t got a measuring spoon that’s 1/3 of a teaspoon so after a bit of research it seems a heaped 1/4 0f a teaspoon is the way to go!!!!
Preheat the oven 200/180 fan
You will need: 1 lb loaf tin, baking parchment to line the tin
85g wholemeal spelt flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/3 tsp baking powder
1/3 tsp bicarbonate of soda
About 2 large ripe bananas, plus an extra half to decorate
Pinch of sea salt
80g maple syrup
1 tsp cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla paste
Handful of demerara sugar to sprinkle
Rapeseed oil for greasing
Toast the walnuts on a baking sheet in your preheated oven for 5-6 minutes until lightly browned. Cool, then roughly chop.
REDUCE the oven temperature to 180c/160 fan and grease your loaf tin with a little rapeseed oil and line with baking parchment.
Sift together the flours with the spices and raising agents in a bowl.
Weigh the bananas. You will need 165g and mash well. Place the mashed bananas in a bowl and blend with the salt, oil, maple syrup, vinegar and vanilla with a balloon whisk. Tip in the dry ingredients and fold through with a spatula until just blended, then fold in the walnuts.
Scrape the mixture into the loaf tin, leaving it a little domed in the middle. Slice the extra half piece of banana lengthways and place this on top to decorate. Sprinkle with a little demerara sugar all over the top and bake for 45 minutes, or until the top is browned and springs back when pressed. An inserted cocktail stick should come out clean.
Let the cake cool in the tin until just warm, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Brush the bananas with a little extra maple syrup to add a little shine.
Now just make yourself a cup of tea and enjoy!